Re: What does the "Matthews" in William Matthews Cooley mean?

From: Michael Cooley <>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 09:31:47 -0700

One of my Hogue ancestors named most of his sons after friends, ancestors
and in-laws, middle names such as Simpson, Crume (his step-grandfather),
Irwin and McQuiston. It certainly helped in this case. At this point,
Matthews is really open-ended. It could mean anything but it is a good
point of inquiry.


> Okay, this is a "non-Cooley" thought, but it helped me track down a
> generation or two or three of Tanner - Olneys.  In her recollections one
> of the Olney women recalled that all of the middle names were the family
> names of friends and relatives.  These Matthews could be married into the
> line.  Other than that, it really is beyond my reach.
> ________________________________
> From: Michael Cooley <>
> To: John Cooley Mailing List <>
> Sent: Friday, September 23, 2011 1:55 AM
> Subject: What does the "Matthews" in William Matthews Cooley mean?
> William had a grandson named William Mathis Cooley. Descendants are found
> in James's line (William's possible brother) as Mathias. These three
> names, Matthews, Mathias and Mathis are the same name. (Changes like this
> in spelling and pronunciation are not uncommon.)
> Those of us trying to figure out who John was married to have considered
> the names of sons Rice Cooley and Perrin Cooley as possible clues. But no
> avail. So here's a bug in your ear: There was a Matthews family in Surry
> county in the late 19th century and at least one Matthews family in
> Caroline county VA, where John Cooley served with his life long
> "associate" Richard Goode in 1755 (Capt Spotswood's company).
> That's all that I have! I've found very little on these families, but it
> is certainly something worth exploring. Has anyone gone down this path?
> BTW, it's interesting that William used the middle name Matthews in NC,
> dropped it entirely in KY and then used only M in TN. In those days, when
> middle names were uncommon, people would sometimes adopt them, usually
> just a middle initial, to distinguish themselves from others of the same
> name. We know that there was another William Cooley in the Yadkin Valley
> (Boone's companion), so William may have need to not be confused with this
> man. He could have come up with Matthews for any number of reasons. A more
> modern example of this is Harry Truman who was born without a middle name.
> He simply adopted the es (a good 2-letter Scrabble word, by the way).
> -Michael
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Received on Fri Sep 23 2011 - 10:31:47 MDT

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